I may need some hefty cash to provide extra "luxuries" to my family: Travel, leisure, shopping...otherwise I'll be constant target of comparison with the Joneses, IMHO yes, when you're young is difficult to escape from that without getting labeled as "lazy fool". . . .My kids are very small and not the case right now. It seems I didnt set my point clear enough. From 38 to 55, I still have 17years trip and have not taken the step of retirement yet, but believe me with $108K/year I'm getting pretty near (jeje).Just for some people $24K is more than enough, but at my age I'm willing to work some years more to get what I consider my "dream" retirement. 1) I want to provide for my kids good education, extra activities of their choice (music, sports, languages), trips to meet other cultures, computers, etc. IMHO that is not spoiling a child, just opening doors to them.I agree with you, and may have keyed on the word “luxuries” rather than opportunities - “just opening doors to them.” I know I could have had kept up with [and maybe passed] the Jones and may have had an earlier or better retirement had I not “indulged” my kids with similar opportunities. But it's not all about me. They were exposed to as many extra experiences - sports, dance, riding, academics, scouts, etc. - as we/they could handle for that reason. The focus was always that they get the most out of an experience, and pursue it as long as they were interested and drop it if they were not, but at least try it and give it your best while doing it. There'll be signs now and then that you're doing the right thing, e.g.:Both kids enjoyed competitive swimming for a few years - longer than many of their friends. Their goal was to try hard, have a good time, and if you bettered your time, that was success. They commented how we were not like some other parents that screamed at their kids for getting 2nd place in a race instead of 1st. In grammar school, their scout troop [from the middle class suburbs] went on a field trip to the Children's Museum in the downtown L. A. Mall area. There was more “education” going on during lunch than the rest of the tour. They all watched intently as a “bag lady” rummaged through the trash looking for scraps of food to eat. It was a first time experience for all of them and, I think, showed them another side of “consumerism” they don't normally see around them and that's not in the TV commercials.For those that don't have kids, there are many lifestyle/financial/investment choices that may be easier to make without those considerations. With 17 yrs to go, you've got plenty of options and time to both be a good dad and still have a comfortable retirement.
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